*89
Tenuta Sant’Antonio 2017 Garganega/Chardonnay Scaia Trevenezie 12.5%
This perky young thing is surprisingly forward on the nose and palate. It smells of Asian pears, yellow plums, celery and ferns. It’s light-bodied with rather low alcohol and vibrantly refreshing. The moderately persistent finish scatters mineral and white pepper notes across the palate. Beautifully expressive now, it’s hard to believe this is a blend of two generally reserved varieties. (It’s 55% Garganega and 45% Chardonnay.) It’s downright energizing to drink this! (*For me, this is a heartthrob kind of wine!)
Drink: 2018-19

87
Tenuta Sant’Antonio 2015 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Monti Garbi 14%
This deeply-colored red boasts classic Italian characteristics. It’s pungently ripe yet has alluring sweet and sour tones to it. Jolting acidity that is tamed by smooth, almost melted, tannins bolsters the supple, fruit-forward palate. The aromas start with tart black currant, fennel and licorice and move into flavors inflected with sweet blackberry flesh, cracked peppercorns and Dr. Pepper. It’s a youthful, intense and unusual wine that contrasts a full body with excellent refreshment. (That’s not a typical combo!) This would be delightful with dry-rubbed beef brisket. It will absolutely benefit from a few hours of decanting.
Drink: 2019-21

90
Tenuta Sant’Antonio 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Scaia Torre Mellotti Veneto 14.5%
This is a loud, trumpeting sort of wine that races out of the glass with exuberantly ripe black fruits, strong scents of evergreen forest and an almost overwhelming bacon tone. Boisterous, palate-filling and a bit tipsily alcoholic, this is a nice wine for a wintery day when you need internal (read: warming alcohol) fortification. Still, the medium-plus finish shows this isn’t just a trick of winemaking in a glass. Moreover, its remarkable concentration allows it to hold well for almost a week (half a bottle remaining, under VacuVin in the wine fridge). The oak mellows out a wee bit in that time, but the wine remains one best enjoyed by those loving powerfully-flavored cuvées.
Drink: 2019-21

91
Tenuta Sant’Antonio 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Selezione Antonio Castagnedi 15%
This classic blend of 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta is surprisingly bacon-y and smoky for a wine aged in 500 liter French oak barrels (i.e. larger barrels, which should impart less of an oaky impression), even if they are all new. There is a clear family resemblance to the red Scaia (above) in this regard. Otherwise, the wine has terrific presence of generous fruit measured by fine tannins and pleasantly tart, lifting acidity. Also, unlike the Scaia, the alcohol here is brilliantly balanced. The Scaia’s 14.5% is more noticeable than this wine’s 15%, thanks in part to this Amarone’s impressive but well-balanced extraction and very good fruit concentration. Its flavors of dates, baked figs and cassis linger on the palate. This is an approachable Amarone now, but it can be forgotten for a while in the cellar, too.
Drink: 2018-25